February 29 - 2008 Crusaders continue strong form

The Crusaders continued their strong start to the 2008 Super Rugby season with a second convincing win on the road, against a determined Stormers side.

The Crusaders achieved the rare feat of two victories on tour in South Africa with an emphatic win over the Stormers.

It followed on from their 54-19 thumping of the Bulls at Newlands and is a serious statement of intent. Robbie Deans’ side is without a doubt aiming to send their champion coach out on a high before he leaves for Australia.

Credit to them for keeping a determined Stormers outfit to zero, though the Capetonians could probably have had points on the board had they gone for posts later on. Instead they endeavoured to lose with honour and they certainly won friends in spite of the defeat.

The Stormers started with great intensity and tried to strike early, but solid defence was the outstanding feature of this Crusaders victory.

Once they weathered the early storm they focused their energy on attack and could probably have led by more than 11-0 at halftime had they not spurned a few good opportunities.

With the Stormers missing talismanic flanker Schalk Burger and No 8 Luke Watson, they struggled to slow the Crusaders ball at the breakdown. All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw was in terrific form, while Daniel Carter was the proverbial general.

The Crusaders’ physical intensity was also exceptional. Their scrum dominated the Stormers and that’s no mean feat.

Best and Fairest: Dan Carter (Crusaders) 3, Richie McCaw (Crusaders) 2, Campbell Johnstone (Crusaders) 1

From “Rugby News”, Issue 4 2008 p. 24.

Dan Carter - MVP